Day One of COY12

I first need to start writing this article by thanking the French youths who directed us to the Twelfth Conference of Youth (COY12) venue. Dulanga and I arrived at Cadi Ayyad University only to find out that we were at the wrong building. Whilst trying to find our way through, we bumped into Eve and Ludovic, who were also making their way to COY12 and tagged along.

Jasmin, Eve, Ludovic, Dulanga

Jasmin, Eve, Ludovic, Dulanga

Eve and Ludovic are two cyclists from France who cycled to Marrakesh to attend COP22. They took a boat to cross the border from south of France to north of Morocco and cycled all the way to Marrakesh by electric assisted velo cargos (cargo bikes).

When I asked them on what prompted them to cycle all the way just to attend COP, they replied by saying that they wanted to make a statement and explore alternative mode of transportation rather than flight, and also cycling reduces the carbon emissions tremendously as compared to flights. You can check out their Facebook page here.

After we registered and gotten our badges, we attended the first session organised by YOUNGO. The session had a really good participation turn up. The session, conducted by David Tong, was on Introduction to UNFCCCC and Introduction to YOUNGO.

The session provided good insights on the UNFCCC negotiations via perspectives by YOUNGO members who have been directly involved in the process. David provided useful advice for first-time COP goers and also those who have attended before.

The best part about COY is the people that you meet. As we break for lunch, we made new friends from Green School, Bali and I Change Before Climate Change (ICBCC), Morocco.

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Some students from Green School Bali are part of the programme called EarthBound, which is a four months exchange programme that provides the opportunity for the school children to be involved in excursions and experiential learning in regards to the environment and climate change. They will be attending both COY and COP. However, due to the age limit set by the secretariat, they are only able to take part in the Green Zone as you have to be above 18 years old to be allowed other access. They are working on a petition on this, to lobby for all ages all access at COP.

The ICBCC are a youth organisation that comprised of university students who are actively involved in environmental awareness and climate change education. They organise and participate in conferences to raise awareness and educate youth on climate change.

After attending COY, we took a break to catch up on work and update social medias.

We sat together with presenters for tomorrow’s session on Climate Change Activism. They are two teachers from Denmark, from the DNS International Teacher Training College. Every year, they would bring students to attend COY. They strongly believe that it is important for the youth to be involved not only in negotiations, but in making a change. In their session tomorrow, they will be providing interactive tools for youth to engage in participatory climate change awareness and action.

It was a very insightful coffee session as we get to hear on the views from the educators themselves on what they think of having climate change education incorporated in the curriculum. Indeed it is still at its infant stage in Malaysia, however slowly but surely more people will be aware of the dire need to be more proactive in tackling climate change.

Dulanga and I had a pretty bad luck hailing cabs to get back to the hotel and ended up walking back for one hour. Even though we had a tiring second half of the day, being reunited with Kelvin, another MYD delegate who just arrived from Malaysia, and Lastrina, our sister from the Singapore Youth for Climate Action (SYCA), made the journey back worthwhile as we catched up with each other and look forward to the days ahead.

Written by Jasmin Irisha Jim Ilham

Edited by Chang Zhun Yan

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